Definitive map modification—procedure

The following Local Government practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Definitive map modification—procedure

Definitive map modification—procedure

The whole point of the Definitive Map and Statement ('Definitive Map') of public rights of way etc is that it is definitive. However, although it is definitive it is not fixed forever. The local highway authority (County Council or Unitary District Council) is under a duty to keep the Definitive Map under continuous review.

The events that might cause the authority to change the Definitive Map are that a public right of way has come into existence, or that it has been lawfully altered or closed, or that it simply should not be on the Map. Instances of ‘altered’ here include changes in route or length or width and, importantly, changes in the permitted user classes (eg upgrading from ‘footpath’ to ‘bridleway’). Where a Modification Order might be needed, this information is passed to the local authority either from statutory bodies (mostly, the local and national highway authorities ) or from members of the public or organisations (parish councils, groups of ramblers etc) acting on their behalf.

A modification of the Definitive Map may also be included within another type of order which has consequences for a public right of way. This removes considerable duplication. The ‘other types of order’ include orders relating to footpaths, bridleways and restricted byways under the sections 26, 118, 118A–118B, 119, 119A–119B and 119D of the Highways Act 1980

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